The Battle of Bunker Hill, which is the namesake of the ship name, was fought 17 June 1775 on Bunker Hill and adjacent Breed's Hill in Charlestown, Mass. 1,200 colonial troops under the command of William Prescott occupied Bunker Hill and Breed's Hill, constructed an earthen redoubt on Breed's Hill, and built lightly fortified lines across most of the Charlestown Peninsula. The British mounted an attack against the colonial troops. The first two assaults on the colonial lines were repulsed with significant British casualties but the British captured the positions on the third assault, after the colonial troops ran out of ammunition.
The loss of the positions on Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill was considered a small loss, while the lopsided number of casualties in the battle, about 1,050 seasoned British troops to about 450 volunteer American troops, was a propaganda victory in the early part of the Revolutionary War.